More ICE Raids In Denver And Across Nation, Targeting Hard Rock Cafe, ESPN Zone, And Dave And Busters
**Welcom Michelle Malkin readers, scroll for updates
A map of the raid's scope
**Update--Execs indicted for pocketing $18.6 million in unpaid taxes:
Federal authorities have accused three cleaning company executives of pocketing more than $18.6 million in unpaid taxes collected from employing hundreds of illegal immigrants from Mexico, Central America, and Haiti, according to an indictment CNN obtained Thursday.Another sham raid designed to deflect criticism from Teddy Kennedy's upcoming amnesty bill? Probably--video of ICE explaining the most recent raid:
The money was placed by the three Rosenbaum Cunningham International executives into "shell companies," and then was used to purchase such "extravagant" items as beach homes and racehorses, the document stated.
RCI Inc.'s president, vice president and controller were arrested along with 200 of the Florida-based company's employees in a recent sweep by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents, the assistant secretary of homeland security for ICE, Julie Myers, announced at a news conference.
A message on the company's voicemail said that "RCI has ceased operations as of February 22, 2007."
The employees were arrested in 17 states and the District of Columbia late Wednesday into Thursday as they were starting or leaving their shifts, Myers said.
They face various immigration violations and could be deported, she said.
Federal agents raided big restaurant chains like the Hard Rock Cafe, ESPN Zone, and Dave and Busters in a national sweep that occurred late Wednesday night and early Thursday morning.Like the raid of meatpacking plants in December, these ICE actions carry little in the way of anything more than symbolic efforts. Netting a few hundred illegal immigrants as a result of a 20-month investigation is good work, but ignores the millions of others lurking in plain sight at businesses all across the nation. Anyone remember the millions living large in the shadows of the enormous parades last year? Not exactly difficult to find.
The agents fanned out in 63 locations nationwide, including several places in Colorado, grabbing hundreds of illegal aliens working as cleaning people. Investigators said the raids were carried out in 17 states and Washington, D.C.
ICE officials said that approximately 220 people were arrested and taken into custody as they started their shifts or ended their shifts at the restaurants where they were working. 7NEWS has learned that 12 people in Colorado were taken in the raid.
Those who were taken away are employed by a Nevada-based company called RCI, which acts as a cleaning contractor for various businesses.
Most of RCI's employees are Mexican, Honduran and Guatemalan nationals.
RCI employs approximately 340 people so about 60 percent of their workforce were impacted by the sweep, ICE officials said.
RCI's co-owners, plus another company official, are named in a 23-count indictment. They face charges including criminal fraud and tax crimes.
Government officials said that company officials hired and recruited illegal immigrants to do the work and paid them in cash.
. . .
The 20-month investigation started in 2005, with concerns about cleaning crews in a Michigan resort.
RCI's clients include House of Blues, Planet Hollywood, China Grill and Yardhouse as well as Hard Rock Cafe, ESPN Zone and Dave and Busters.
Richard Rosenbaum, RCI's founder and president, was arrested and faces charges of conspiracy to defraud the government and harboring illegal immigrants. RCI's employees are also accused of obtaining fake green cards for workers.
The punishments for employing illegal immigrants and committing fraud by obtaining fake "documentation" for illegal employees should be excessive and demonstrative. Likely they will be neither. Though this raid targeted high-profile businesses like Hard Rock Cafe and ESPN Zone, it succeeded in only netting 12 illegal immigrants for the entire city of Denver. Hardly a drop in the bucket.
Meanwhile, the inexorable march toward amnesty appears to continue unabated.
The immigration moonbats and open-borders amnesty crowd respond:
"This far reaching raid and others like it have disrupted lives and terrorized entire communities. We are at a crossroads as a nation in deciding what kind of country we want to be and how we value family unity, community, and human rights.They undoubtedly will be delighted with Teddy Kennedy's amnesty plan. However, even the open-borders crowd see the raids as publicity stunts--though contrary to their assertions they are legal, necessary and justified. Unfortunately they aren't part of a larger, meaningful attempt to deal with the problem.
How many more immigrants must die at our borders and how many more children do we make orphans of before we fix our broken immigration system? The current broken system pushes hard-working families into the shadows of our society, and creates incentives for unscrupulous employers to take advantage of workers and taxpayers.
The stepped up arrest and detention of immigrant workers and family members who have been contributing to this country and their communities has only succeeded in polluting the problem and sending a terrible message to the nation and to the world.
The time is now for Congressional leaders to act swiftly and boldly on passing a comprehensive immigration reform bill that is fair and just, bringing immigrant workers out of the shadows of our society and onto a path to citizenship, and taking away incentives for low road employers to manipulate a broken system for profit.
The Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition calls on the Bush Administration to put an immediate end to these immoral and inhumane public relations stunts."
And so it continues . . .
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